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Steven Gerrard Talks England Future, and Other Wednesday Notes

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Enough with the doom and gloom, it's time for the news and notes. See what I did there? Yeah, I know, sorry. Plus one of the items we've got for today involves "Steven Gerrard," "injuries," and "English national team." Which doesn't bode well for moving on from said doom and gloom, but what the hell…


* With Liverpool's captain sitting out England's poppy festfriendly against Spain at Wembley on Saturday with another injury setback, instead of wondering if Fabio Capello will ever figure out how to use Gerrard effectively discussion has turned to the player's future with the national side. For most Liverpool fans, international football is a largely unwanted distraction, a chance for fragile players to pick up injuries and overworked ones to find their reserves drained even further, but it can't be ignored that for most players there is a great deal of pride in being asked to participate in international competition. And it just so happens that Steven Gerrard is one of those most players:

It would be nice, if this is to be my last tournament, to get to a semi-final or a final rather than come away disappointed like we have been previously. Going into any tournament as a player, you always take it as your last because you never know what could happen two years down the line. But I'm 31, I'll be 32 by the time Euro 2012 comes around, so, whatever happens, I'll be treating it as my last one.

I am disappointed to be out for the friendlies, but I will be watching the games and supporting the team. I'm still fighting to get fit again but I'm not far away from hopefully being involved in the England set-up again.

So, something to look forward to next international break. Assuming he hasn't picked up a life threatening pinkie infection that keeps him out of it. Still, even if Gerrard's determination to participate in next summer's Euros as well as any England games he can get himself fit for before then seems destined to lead to more than a few nervy moments from a Liverpool point of view, that he's floating the idea of retiring from international duty after the summer will be a hopeful sign for anybody wanting to see him squeeze out a few more effective years at club level.

* Going from veterans to youth, Liverpool continues to snap up prospects from far and wide, with the latest official signing American U18 captain Marc Pelosi. There was news in the summer that he had reached a pre-agreement with the club and would be in Liverpool on trial soon afterwards, but the paperwork has only just been fully sorted. He's arrived now, though, and had his first action with the academy's U18 side on the weekend, leaving coach Mike Marsh impressed:

Marc is a good lad who has conducted himself really well since he’s been here,. He had trained with us a couple of times but last Saturday was the first time he could play as his papers had just come through. He played 45 minutes for us at Crewe and did really well.

Marc will be between the two groups—the under-18s and the reserves—so we will have to wait and see what happens. But he’s clearly got talent and is a left-footed centre midfielder who can also play anywhere on the left side.

In other news, Marc Pelosi has yet to score at the U18 level for Liverpool. So it's probably safe to call him a failure or something.

* If things have seemed far too serious and depressing around these parts of late, the cure might be to head over to The Anfield Wrap, where Roy Henderson has turned the recent dearth of optimism into a chance to talk about trust. At times this season it's certainly seemed something that everyone involved with the club, from the players on through the supporters, has lacked. And by comparison, it's something that Liverpool's opponents on the weekend had in excess.

It’s easy to trust Xavi or Iniesta to control a ball when you ping it at them at speed, or to flick it into the stride of a runner in space, but it’s far less easy to trust Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano or Victor Valdes. But they do—just watch them. Even the less able players are trusted and expected to play their game, and more often than not, they rise to that challenge and meet the expectation. That’s something intangible that compounds itself over time within a club. And it’s arguably what Swansea are enjoying right now to a far lesser extent.

Of course, they’re blessed with far less quality in their squad than most clubs, but the players they’ve assembled are all trusted and expected to do the simple things well, and to keep a disciplined shape that maintains the right kind of foundation. We saw a side on Saturday that played one-twos, that remained calm when under pressure, because they knew they could expect an open man who’d happily demand the ball from them. That pervaded their entire side. And it’s not down to world class ability; it’s down to trust. Commitment and trust.

It may never be wrong to ask questions, and it may be unavoidable that fans will worry when things aren't going well, but it might not be entirely out of line to suggest that as much as anything else what the club could use at the moment is a little bit of trust that things will work out in the end even if the road has been littered with unexpected obstacles and unforeseen difficulties.

We'll be back with any breaking news as the day moves along, but in the meantime, while you go digging for shoots of hope outside the last chance saloon…